REEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
In the Matter of a Complaint by Final Decision
Frank R. Annunziato,
against Docket #FIC 93-22
South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority,
Respondent August 25, 1993
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on May 28, 1993, at which time the complainant and the respondent appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.
After consideration of the entire record, the following facts are found and conclusions of law are reached:
1. The respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1-18a(a), G.S.
2. It is found that by letter dated January 4, 1993, the complainant requested the annual salary data for the period 1990 through 1993 for twelve specified positions.
3. It is found that by reply letter dated January 15, 1993, the respondent declined to provide the information requested.
4. By letter of complaint filed with the Commission on January 25, 1993, the complainant appealed the respondent's denial.
5. At the hearing on this matter the respondent provided the complainant with the salary information at issue for eight of the twelve positions.
6. The complainant withdrew the complaint with respect to the first eight positions listed on his request.
Docket #FIC 93-22 Page 2
7. At issue is the gross salary information for the following four deputy director positions at the respondent agency: land management, administration, operations and engineering, and water quality and treatment.
8. At the hearing the respondent made a motion to dismiss the complaint on the grounds that: (a) no specific documents were requested, and (b) the information sought is exempt from disclosure under 1-19(b)(2), G.S.
9. The respondent's motion to dismiss was denied at hearing by the hearing officer.
10. It is found that at all times material the respondent handled the complainant's request as a request for identifiable records within its possession and control.
11. The respondent concedes that the salary information requested pertains to positions staffed by its employees, rather than by individual contractors.
12. It is found that the records at issue are public records within the meaning of 1-18a(d), G.S.
13. At the hearing the complainant clarified his request to exclude the names and identities of the individual(s) occupying the positions, or any other personally identifiable information.
14. The respondent, however, provided the names of the individuals occupying the positions in question at the hearing on this matter.
15. It is found that by memorandum dated January 8, 1993, the respondent notified the employees occupying the positions for which the salary information is being sought, of the complainant's records request.
16. It is found that from January 8 through 15, 1993, the employees occupying the positions for which the salary information is being sought, filed with the respondent written notices of objection "...to [disclosure of] the personal [salary] data requested."
Docket #FIC 93-22 Page 3
17. At hearing the respondent conceded that all salary information, including the requested data, is maintained as a payroll record, and the data is electronically stored.
18. It is therefore found that the respondent failed to prove that the salary information at issue is maintained as a personnel file within the meaning of 1-19(b)(2), G.S.
19. The employees occupying the positions for which the salary information is being sought did not appear at the hearing on this matter to present evidence or argue the applicability of 1-19(b)(2), G.S.
20. It is found that the employees occupying the positions for which the salary information is being sought, and the respondent failed to establish an expectation of privacy in the gross salary information requested, and even if there were such an expectation, the respondent failed to prove that such an expectation was reasonable within the meaning of 1-19(b)(2), G.S., as expounded upon in Chairman v. FOIC, 217 Conn. 193 (1991).
21. Accordingly, under the facts of this case, the respondent failed to demonstrate the applicability of 1-19(b)(2), G.S., or any exemption to disclosure of the records at issue.
The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:
1. The respondent shall forthwith provide to the complainant, at no cost to him, copies of the records showing the annual salary data for the positions specified in paragraph 7, of the findings, above.
Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of August 25, 1993.
Debra L. Rembowski
Acting Clerk of the Commission
Docket #FIC 93-22 Page 4
PURSUANT TO SECTION 4-180(c), G.S. THE FOLLOWING ARE THE NAMES OF EACH PARTY AND THE MOST RECENT MAILING ADDRESS, PROVIDED TO THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION, OF THE PARTIES OR THEIR AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE.
THE PARTIES TO THIS CONTESTED CASE ARE:
Frank R. Annunziato
Div. of Extended & Continuing Education
Storrs, CT 06269-4013
South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority
c/o Atty. Hugh F. Murray III
Murtha, Cullina, Richter & Pinney
185 Asylum Street
Hartford, CT 06103-3469
Debra L. Rembowski
Acting Clerk of the Commission